Now We Know Why Apple Didn’t Apply For .App As They Open For Vanity Domains


When the applicants  for new gTLD’s were announced by ICANN in what was called the “big reveal” one of the biggest surprises we noted was the absence of an Apple application for .App.

Now it  seems we know why Apple passed on applying for the new gTLD .App, the are going to let developers use Vanity Domains off of its

According to and, Apple’s plan was revealed in a Super Bowl for the new Star Trek:

“”At the end of the commercial for the upcoming “Star Trek: Into Darkness” film, Paramount flashed a quick promotion for its iOS app, complete with an link that takes people right to it. In function it’s identical to what Apple already uses through its iTunes links, but this one’s designed so that people can quickly type it into a mobile device or remember it for later”.

“ can be changed by developers, which in this case is Developers can pick this out when submitting an app, or plug their company name into it to do a search for multiple apps on the App Store”.

“The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously acquired as a personal gift from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff following the introduction of the digital store during a keynote in 2008″.

As noted:

Developers can now choose to pick out their preferred vanity URL name when submitting their app to either the iTunes App Store or the Mac App Store, according to Apple Developer documentation on the matter, which was updated on January 31st with info about the new URLs:

You can also create easy-to-read links to your app using App Store Short Links, which use the base URL plus a specific form of your app or company name. This provides a simple way for users to find your apps on the App Store directly from your website or marketing campaigns. These short links are ideal for use in offline communications materials like print ads, TV spots, app trailers, radio ads and billboards.

“Domain names can also be configured to point to either the company itself (e.g. or the app (e.g.”.

“These new vanity URLs could quickly turn into a land grab in the crowded App Store, which now has some 800,000 mobile applications available in the iOS App Store alone”.

“That competition is something which Apple has prepared for, though. The company says that in the case of name conflicts or other errors, URLs with multiple results like, will direct users to a search page. Developers are encouraged to come up with unique names for their apps instead, to prevent this problem for occurring.”

There were 13 companies that paid $185,000 to apply for the .App new gTLD including Amazon and Google.

So the big question is what does this do to the value of the new gTLD .App?

It certainly will change the business plans of a lot of the applicants, as Apple is giving away the Vanity Domains away for free.

Its not only the applicants for .APP new gTLD who is going to be effected by this move by Apple but domain holders of current extensions as well.

We all know that App developers are buyers of .com and other extensions, with the move by Apple some developers maybe happy just to go with a free vanity domain from Apple rather than buying an existing domain name.







  1. says

    I expected there would be 50 comments here.
    This is pretty big news.
    I have been saying for a while that Apple is the one to watch when it came to right of the dot.
    I think they have just spoken very loud!

  2. Grim says

    @Rick Schwartz

    I think the reason we’re not seeing many comments so far, is because this is about as “big news” as having a Facebook page for one’s app. For the hundreds of thousands of unknown apps out there, no one will know what to type after “” To let people know about one’s app and where to find it, one still has to spend money (as in the Super Bowl ad) to get the word out, or do other forms of gorilla marketing, which can take a lot more time dependent on how much money is added to the mix.

    Having an ‘AppStore name,’ or a .COM or .APP name, is the easy part. The hard part for nearly all newcomers is, “How do I let people know about my app, so they’ll buy it?” And as always, the answer for most people isn’t easy. (Unless they’re the rare exception with an incredible app, and word of mouth is all it takes.)

    As most people learn, this is how it works for pretty much anything in the world. Just creating a product and setting up shop somewhere is the simple part. Getting people to know about that product and actually come and buy it is where things get tricky.

  3. Marc says

    I don’t think this has any impact on the value of .APP. Someone who owns a keyword.APP domain will have a shorter and arguably easier to brand domain than an domain. Also it seems like Apple is preventing people from using certain URL’s in the event of a name conflict, which there likely will be for many keywords. I’m also not sure that Apple won’t lend support to the .APP extensi, they do stand to benefit from the promotion of apps and that will be likely be the purpose for which .APP domains will be used. We shall see…

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